Wednesday’s 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee, led me to reflect on our recent brief visit to that city, as part of a road trip taking in some of the Deep South states.
It was clear from the places we’d visited along the way that the local economies are not working well in these states, and the anti-discriminatory process accelerated by King in the 1960s is by no means yet finished (just listen to some of those speeches from Memphis last Wednesday). Both were probably factors in the election of President Trump.
Yet Memphis is a good place to visit, with music in its soul, exemplified by swinging Beale Street, exuding a similar atmosphere to the French Quarter in New Orleans. We loved taking in a drink and meal at BB King’s bar, with sound levels almost tolerable to sensitive ears.
We found plenty of attractions suitable for children, including an excellent Fire Museum, which kept children and adults alike engaged with informative and entertaining exhibits.
Of course, Memphis exists because of the great old lady Mississippi (featured image shows bridge, taken from the top of the Memphis Pyramid, now a megastore). The city was frequently visited by Mark Twain during his period as a pilot on the Mississippi, documented in his book Life on the Mississippi.
There’s also a guy called Elvis associated with Memphis. We got taken to his birthplace but somehow managed to avoid Graceland.